Michigan Hockey Rooting Guide: Week 22

Submitted by NastyIsland on February 23rd, 2018 at 10:00 AM


Breaking News: Herm Edwards is also Arizona State’s hockey coach* [AZCentral.com]

*He isn't, but does he know that?

Arizona State Preview






Players Drafted

Skaters >.75 PPG









2: Marody, Calderone

2.61 (Lavigne)

.912 (Lavigne)

Arizona State






1: Pasichnuk (.75)

3.44 (Daccord)

.910 (Daccord)

Things Michigan Should Try to Do Against Arizona State:

1.Fix the PP. Michigan's power play is a paltry 46th in the country. At some point, the Wolverines are going to face a team that limits their chances (a la OSU), and they're going to need to get man-advantage goals. This is the perfect time to work on it. The Sun Devils average 16+ minutes/game in the penalty box. They have an average kill rate. Michigan should have some power-play opportunities this weekend. They may want to try a few new wrinkles.

2. Be More Aggressive on the PK. So, also stay out of the box, but if you must take penalties, maybe use these chances to be more active in pressing the puck. Michigan has been dreadful on the penalty kill all season, and ASU has an anemic power play at 12%. Use this time to practice killing penalties instead of just surviving them.

3. Bury this team. This is not a good hockey team. Look at almost any statistic or metric and they're middling at best, bottom-end at worst. ASU's top scorer is a defenseman. They have two road wins (over Holy Cross and...Michigan Tech?). They've also been bombed by Penn State, Boston University, and Providence. Michigan has done the hard work (sweeping ND) and clawed back to an at-large bid. They need to finish off this run and set up a Big Ten Tournament where they're playing for a seed line instead of barely qualifying.

Last Thoughts. I'm excited to see ASU. They're a new team to D1 college hockey, and this is their first trip to Yost. Part of the fun of college sports is seeing a bunch of different teams in non-conference play. I'd never seen Vermont before they came to Yost this past Fall.  Hopefully, the Sun Devils can continue to build a program and become a nationally competitive team...after this weekend, of course.

[After THE JUMP: surveying the B1G landscape, who to root for around the country, and...Skip-Bo?]

What is Guaranteed in the Big Ten?



Michigan needs a single point to secure third place. That’s mostly it. They’ll likely play with Wisconsin or Penn State. So:

Minnesota at Penn State. Penn State dropping a game in East Lansing cost them their shot at passing Michigan in the Big Ten standings. This week they can once again help Michigan by taking at least one point off of the Gophers, thereby locking Michigan into the third spot in the standings. Also, since Minnesota is just ahead of the Wolverines in PWR, a Penn State sweep with another result or two would potentially vault Michigan ahead of the Gophers.

Michigan State at Notre Dame. Michigan isn't going to catch the Irish in the Big Ten or in PWR, so it is probably best to protect that sweep last weekend by not handing out wins to the rest of the conference. There could be an argument if MSU goes on a ridiculous run and gets near the bubble by sweeping ND and OSU, but that's probably not going to happen. And they're down in 38th. So, I'll root for the Irish.

Wisconsin at Ohio State. I don't see a super direct rooting angle here. Either way, Wisconsin is going to be playing for their tournament lives if/when they come to Yost the following weekend. So...here's to a bunch of multiple-game, top-end, non-violent suspensions?

So, We’re An At-large Team Now and in the Tournament? Um…Almost.



Is Michigan safe? Probably. Twelfth is probably safe.

List of PWR Teams Relevant to Michigan:

7. Clarkson. Good Knight, this team is in a freefall. They beat Michigan back in October and then went on a 15-game unbeaten streak. If they drop both games this weekend, they are in danger of falling below Michigan, though. You can watch their games against Princeton and Quinnipiac right here.

8. Minnesota. Already covered. Obviously for PWR purposes, Minnesota losing to Penn State a couple of times would benefit Michigan. Both games are on BTN.

9. Providence. The Friars tuck into Amherst to face the UMass Minutemen for one game on Saturday night. A Providence loss would see Michigan pass them in PWR. You can watch that game here.

10. Minn-Duluth. The Bulldogs head to Kalamazoo for a series against the Broncos. Duluth is barely an uff-dah ahead of the Wolverines in PWR, so a sweep for Western Michigan would push the Wolverines ahead of Duluth. If the Bulldogs split this weekend, it will come down to the outcomes of multiple other games. You can view both games on ($) nchc.tv

11. Michigan. Uhhh...go to Yost. And cheer for Michigan.

12. Northeastern. The Huskies have a home-and-home with New Hampshire. The Wildcats are 48th in PWR and 45th in Corsi. Even a Northeastern sweep keeps them behind the Wolverines. Still, "a little insurance couldn't hurt." Both games appear to be on watchespn.

13. North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux Fighting Hawks travel to Oxford (Not That Oxford) to face the Miami (Not That Miami) Redskins RedHawks. NTM is in the top half of PWR, so a NoDak road sweep would most likely move them ahead of Michigan, depending on other results. So...we have to root for Blasi again? Come on, man...($) nchc.tv

14. Nebraska-Omaha. Since we're rooting against the Huskers in hoops, we might as well add the Mavericks in hockey! They host the 24th (53rd in corsi) ranked Tigers of Colorado College. They're still probably not passing Michigan, but I always preferred skip-bo anyway. Also on ($) nchc.tv

15. Western Michigan. Host Minn-Duluth. See above. Yay, horses.

*Results are based on Michigan beating Arizona State twice.



February 23rd, 2018 at 10:32 AM ^

(1) Michigan.

(2) Nothing else matters yet.

If Michigan is swept this weekend, they will be somewhere between 17th and 22nd in PWR at the end of the week, with an almost impossible task ahead of them.  Even one loss could put Michigan's tournament bid in peril.

If Michigan sweeps ASU, they will likely be 10th or 11th.  They can work their way up to a 2-seed by making the Big Ten championship game, but this weekend is all about not blowing their opportunity.

Right now, it's not how other teams do: it's how Michigan does.


February 23rd, 2018 at 11:40 AM ^

To quote Herb Brooks addressing the 1980 Hockey Team going into their gold medal game against Finland, coming off the greatest upset in sports history.

"You lose this game, you'll take it to your fucking grave"...{turns to leave locker room, pauses, and turns back to face team}..."Your fucking grave!"


February 23rd, 2018 at 6:32 PM ^

ASU also beat Northern Michigan in the first game of the same Las Vegas tournament where they beat Tech! (Must be something in that desert air!)